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Expand chart
Data: Ministry of Health DRC; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo showed a recent spike, despite concerted efforts by public health workers and international organizations, mainly due active pockets of community resistance to vaccination and the dangers posed to health care workers in active conflict zones that halt or delay key treatment measures.

What's new: DRC's Ministry of Health reports that, as of October 10, the cases of confirmed and probable infections spiked to 200, with 90 confirmed deaths and 26 suspected cases under investigation. However, the World Health Organization warns these numbers are "likely underestimated."

WHO yesterday issued a statement:

"These rising trends are likely underestimated given expected delays in case reporting, the ongoing detection of sporadic cases, and security concerns which limit contact tracing and investigation of alerts."

Political strife: The conflict in DRC stems from the 1994 Rwanda genocide, which has led to "at least 70 armed groups fighting in the eastern region of the country," according to an editorial in The Lancet.

  • And, the BBC has a DRC profile, which includes a timetable of the conflict, background on the political situation, and covers the elections which were delayed twice since 2016 and are scheduled for this December.

Anti-vaxx movement: The ministry describes its continual campaign to inform skeptical citizens to get vaccinated and to follow the protocols for this disease, which remains infectious in the body after death.

  • In one case this week, the family of a person who died from Ebola stole the body on its way to be safely buried and then used a mob of young people in the community to forcibly keep police away.
  • This particular situation was later resolved — a community meeting was held, the body was retrieved, and several family members said they planned to get vaccinated — but it demonstrates some of the elements the ministry is fighting against.

Meanwhile, The Lancet editorial warns that the challenges faced by DRC may be an indication of the changing nature of war in being a more protracted affair. Per the editorial:

"Violence and conflict are compounders of public health crises. What is happening in DR Congo means that a fragile political situation, a complex virus, and a raging conflict puts the whole world under threat."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

What's really going on with the labor market

Source: YCharts

The labor market is showing some signs of improvement: Jobless claims fell to 730,000 — a dramatic drop from 841,000 the previous week. And the latest jobs report showed a pandemic-era low unemployment rate of 6.3%

But, but, but: That's not the full story, experts say.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Markets see rare convergence milestone

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

A milestone was reached in the markets Thursday: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to match the dividend yield on the S&P 500

Why it matters: The two yields have been inverted since the beginning of last year, which is historically unusual.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First look: Business puts muscle behind Biden

Business Roundtable, the voice of America's top CEOs, today launched "Move the Needle," a campaign to support President Biden in rolling out COVID vaccines, increasing vaccine uptake and encouraging masks.

What they're saying: "Masks and vaccines are working. Now is the time to keep at it, overcome pandemic fatigue, and double down on the measures that will end this public health and economic crisis, said Business Roundtable president and CEO Josh Bolten.